Branding your business in today’s market is no longer an option but it has become a necessity. Branding doesn’t just mean that you give a catchy name to your business and make an eye-catching logo, it is so much more than that. Branding helps you take root in your target niche. The main purpose of it is to draw the target audience towards your brand.
“What the nervous system is to the body, the brand is to a healthy organisation.” – Terry Tyrell, Worldwide Chairman, Brand Union
Your target audience should be able to differentiate your brand from that of your competitor’s. The size of your business is not relevant when considering whether to spend your energy and resources in branding related activities. If you haven’t branded your business yet or are unsuccessful in your branding endeavors then I am here to help.
1. Define Your Brand
First lay the foundation of your brand. What do you stand for? What is your brand all about? What do you want your customers to think about your brand? Communicate to the stakeholders the mission and the vision of your brand.
Your customers need to know what your brand stands for and what products/services you are offering. This step may not seem huge but it is the most critical one. You have to find your competitive edge, what skills /resources you have and how it sets you apart from the rest.
2. Spread Awareness
You want your target audience to know all about your brand. In today’s digital world, what your target audience majorly knows about your brand is through the information they obtain online. For this purpose you need to have a strong online presence. Websites and blogs are great ways to generate brand awareness. Social media is a big factor that the success of your marketing campaign depends upon. On social media platforms the brand and the customers meet, here you can communicate more freely with your target audience, sell your brand to them and address their concerns.
Positive visual representation is important, that is why marketers emphasize so much on brand identity. The logo of your brand, your brand name and the taglines used can’t be cheap and created in a rush. This process needs to be well thought out and your logo should complement your brand. Our consumers are visual, they are more likely to buy things they think look good.
Marketers should be great storytellers. The brand Dove understands this, which is why their marketing campaign is a huge success with Real Beauty Sketches’ being the most viral video ad .
3. Market Internally
Before you intend to sell to your target audience, you need to sell the idea to your employees. Involving your workforce and making them part of decisions will work in your brand’s favor. People trust brands which seem trustworthy and present a united front. To gain your potential customer’s trust, your employees need to believe in the brand.
The same medium and messages you use to market externally may not work with your employees. Define the goals of your internal marketing strategy, use storytelling to persuade your audience and communicate what you plan to achieve from this.
4. Put the Customer First ALWAYS
‘The customer is always right’ holds true for every business. Identify your target audience’s needs and make them the focal point of your branding strategy. You need to communicate to your target audience that the reason for your business’s existence is to satisfy their needs. Always remember it costs less to keep a client happy rather than looking for new ones. Customer satisfaction and profits are directly propotional. There maybe costs associatd to measure customer satisfcation but these work to your brand’s advantage.
Look at the way Loreal has positioned itself with the tagline “Because you’re worth it”. Loreal aims to make its customers feel valued and cherished.
5. Follow the 3Cs
The 3Cs of branding are:
- Clarity – Be articulate in the representation of your brand and don’t state false over qualifications.
- Consistency – Specify guidelines across all mediums to ensure the application of your brand in a consistent manner so your potential customers learn to trust you.
- Constancy – Decide who your target audience is and have a stable presence in the niche.
6. Encourage Feedback
Welcome both appreciation and criticism. Remember you need criticism to amend the mistakes you’ve made. Ask for your target audience’s review, you can do that by taking an online poll asking what they think represents your brand.
Getting inside your customers’ heads is amazing so when they speak their mind and tell you what they think of your brand; use this information to your brand’s benefit.
7. Be Consistent.. But Also Welcome Change
As I mentioned before consistency is important for gaining trust, but that doesn’t mean you don’t adapt to the changing environment. Today social media is the popular medium for marketing, ten years down the road who knows what the next big thing is! Don’t be afraid to update your brand.
These tips will prove to be of great help. Do you have more in mind? Feel free to share in the comments section.